Dorchester's Charles Street development funding agreed

Charles Street development in Dorchester - October 2012
Image caption Revised plans for phase two of the Charles Street development include 23 shops and affordable homes

A Dorset council has agreed to fund £2m of preparatory work for a town centre retail development.

New council buildings, a library and an adult learning centre are already being built in Charles Street, Dorchester, in the first phase of its regeneration.

The preparatory works for phase two would include relocating a church from Acland Road to Trinity Street.

At a meeting of West Dorset District Council, councillors voted in favour of the recommendation to fund the work.

There were concerns that the £60m plans for phase two, which were approved in 2010 and had been due to include a hotel and an underground public car park, were "not financially viable".

Resignation call

Revised proposals for 24 flats in place of the hotel were also approved by councillors.

The amount of underground parking will also be reduced, with equivalent spaces created elsewhere in the town.

The remaining plans include 23 shops and affordable homes.

West Dorset Liberal Democrat councillor Ros Kayes has called for Robert Gould, leader of the authority, to resign over decisions made about phase two of the revamp.

Mr Gould said the scheme was backed by all three political parties, a claim which Ms Kayes disputed.

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